I haven’t done one of these in awhile.
I’ve asked, in the past, about whether you more often buy your books, or get them from libraries. What I want to know today, is, WHY BUY?
Even if you are a die-hard fan of the public library system, I’m betting you have at least ONE permanent resident of your bookshelves in your house. I’m betting that no real book-lover can go through life without owning at least one book. So … why that one? What made you buy the books that you actually own, even though your usual preference is to borrow and return them?
If you usually buy your books, tell me why. Why buy instead of borrow? Why shell out your hard-earned dollars for something you could get for free?
I usually buy. Whether brand new or a good quality second-hand, I’m not fussed. I have had too many instances in the past where I’ve borrowed a book out of the library and I have loved it so much that I’ll go out and buy the book. However, it usually ends up with the book sitting on the shelf for awhile yet before I want to re-read it again and I feel that my copy has missed out on my initial reading and reaction.
I also like the fact that it’s mine and it’s almost a documentary of my life (bibliophiles will be able to understand this, I’m sure). I like that it’s accessible to be 24/7 and that the marks, if any, on the books are made by me. Another reason why I buy is that I don’t like waiting. There’s usually a long waiting list for the popular books and I don’t want to wait half a year. Or the books are so damaged and marked, or there is a strange wafting smell from the book that it makes reading the book entirely unappetising.
Finally, since I’m not a millionaire, or even earning a regular income, I’m picky about which book I buy. I don’t usually buy popular or ‘in-the-now’ fiction but I ‘invest’ in classics and other books that I know I’ll enjoy time and time again. Or I might buy books that have extremely cheap while they’re on sale. I’m a little strange and I feel intensely sorry for the poor author whose book is languishing on the sales table marked down to $2 or some ridiculous amount (I’ve picked up Roddy Doyle, John Fowles and Christina Stead for a similar price). Somebody has spent torturous amount of time over their story, their work, and it ends up in the sale bin being practically given away.
We need our own book cemetery. 🙂